Are you learning a new language or wanting to learn a new language?
FANTASTIC, you are in the right spot!
Here are ten things that I have learned while learning a new language:
1. Learning a language is HARD WORK!
Let’s just get this one out of the way. Learning a new language is a skill that is developed over time so it will take hard work. If you have ever been on a sporting team or learned how to play an instrument, it is the same concept. Practice, Practice, Practice!
2. It can be SUPER overwhelming
At the beginning, thinking of all the words, phrases, etc that you don’t know can be a bit much to take in. I had many days while I was in Chile and immersed in spanish that I thought that I would never learn the language.
3. It really is WORTH it!
All that hard work and overwhelmed feelings will be worth it. Sometimes the best motivation for me is looking for the overall outcome and how I will feel when I get there. The blood, sweat and tears (slight exaggeration) will produce something you never thought possible.
4. Consistency makes or breaks your habit
Progress comes from habits and habits develop skills so it is SUPER important to stay consistent with studying. What are you doing to keep up your progress?
5. Language learning can be FUN & enjoyable
Let’s rewind to that spanish class in high school that seemed to drag on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. That likely wasn’t an enjoyable experience BUT learning doesn’t have to be that way. You are now the teacher and student so you guide your learning to fit your learning style. It turns it into an adventure of sorts when you have to figure out how you learn best and what methods match.
One thing I have tried to do is modify some of my favorite games/activities to incorporate spanish (or language learning) into it.
6. It will open your eyes
You are likely thinking ‘well hello, that’s what I do every morning when I wake up’! When I say open your eyes, I mean that it will enlighten you to a new way of thinking. You will start to see your native language in a new light and realize how complex it really is as well. It is quite fascinating to experience!
7. Your heart will change
No, this is not some mushy gushy thing. You will become more aware of the tourists or immigrants who struggle with english. Hopefully, this will cause you to have greater compassion towards them as well.
8. Brain “rewired”
Like mentioned briefly above, your brain will learn to think differently. I have heard many instances of this helping or improving recovery time in brain trauma patients.
9. Pronunciation only improves as you practice out loud
This seems like a no brainer but when I was learning spanish I was absolutely terrified to read/practice out loud. It took some encouraging but I finally did and that is when I really saw progress. The funny thing was, I don’t know how I was expecting to get better if I didn’t try.
10. A world of Opportunity opens up
I never knew how much my spanish could do for me… I was hired to work as a bilingual secretary at a law office, started at a higher pay rate at a bank I was hired at…
In my case, it even helped me find and marry my second half. I have seen some be able to travel expense-free through their job and others who have done community service that has had a great impact. Who knows what opportunities it can open up for you!
So what’s next…
These suggestions are all fine and dandy but they won’t do you any good if you don’t create a plan. I have worked out a FREE 30 day jumpstart plan that you are welcome to download and follow along with. I am personally using it in my newest language learning adventure — French!